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Wrestling: Springstead captures third in Brandon's Ippolito Invitational

BRANDON — Springstead's young Eagles seemed to hit a stone wall in the semifinals, dropping four wrestlers out of the championship brackets and slipping from second to third place in the Ippolito Invitational hosted by Brandon on Saturday afternoon.

However, Springstead seemed to come back together in the wrestlebacks and held on to third with a final score of 238 points.

"We finished with 10 of our 14 guys placing in the top six, and for the second year finished third behind Brandon (358.5) and Manatee (254)," Springstead head coach Eric Swensen said. "Richie Bliss (at 103 pounds) was our only champion, but Ken Cox (215) and Nick Soto (125) placed second."

Brandon won the 25th Tony Ippolito Invitational with seven individual champions, four runnersup and 13 wrestlers placing in the top six.

"It seems like we keep battling Manatee for second, and so far they have beaten us," Swensen said. "However, both Manatee and Brandon have great programs and excellent teams this year. We will have to meet them both again at state, but with a little more knowledge about them then."

Bliss, a sophomore, ended the tournament 35-2.

"Coming into the tournament as the No. 1 seed helped," he said. "That helped me from facing Brandon until the finals. Our team is young but doing well this season. I hope to help them place high in the state tournament next month."

Bliss recorded three pins and a major decision to reach the 103-pound final. He then pinned his Brandon opponent, Keith LaFevre, in 1 minute, 17 seconds of the first period.

Palm Harbor Duals

PALM HARBOR — Landon Vanatta posted a 5-0 mark Saturday to lead River Ridge to fifth place at the Palm Harbor Duals.

Vanatta did it the hard way — none of his victories were pins. Competing in two weight classes (152 and 160 pounds, depending on where he was needed for each dual meet), Vanatta posted one technical fall and four decisions.

River Ridge beat Berkeley Prep and Nature Coast in pool matches, then crushed Bradenton Southeast 64-15 in the medal round to claim fifth.

Mitchell also competed but settled for eighth. The Mustangs' lone pool win was 60-11 over Tarpon Springs. Mitchell lost to Nature Coast in its medal-round match. Garrett Abdetasik (119) went 5-0, including two pins and a major decision. Crawfordville Wakulla won the event with a 45-29 victory over Dunedin.

Times correspondent Doug Kates contributed to this report.

IPPOLITO INVITATIONAL

Teams: 1. Brandon 358.5, 2. Manatee 254.0, 3. Springstead 238.0, . Bloomingdale 167.5, 5. Robinson 145.0, 6. Alonso 125.0, 7. Gainesville 123.0, 8. Lincoln 120.0, 9. St. Cloud 95.0, 10. Jesuit 90.0, 11. Sarasota 89.5, 12. Baron Collier 85.0, 13. Plant City 85.0, 14. Wharton 74.5, 15. Bayshore 74.0, 16. Jefferson 74.0, 17. Liberty 72.5, 18. Armwood 58.5, 19. Brooksville Central 49.5, 20. Cape Coral 46.0, 21. Plant 44.5, 22. East Bay 43.0, 23. Pasco 29.5, 24. Chamberlain 27.0, 25. Tampa Prep 27.0, 26. Middleton 24.0, 27. King 22.0, 28. Hillsborough 13.5, 29. Wesley Chapel 10.5

Individual finals: 103 Bliss (SP) p. LeFevre (BR) 1:17; 112 Renkey (BR) maj. Gray (AR) 14-5; 119 Bruno (BR) maj. Ballard (MA) 15-4; 125 Gregory (MA) dec. Soto (SP) 10-4; 130 Glass (BR) maj. Stewart (MA) 10-2; 135 Grajales (BR) p. Boyer (RO) 4:41; 140 Timothy (BR) maj. Monteo (BL) 10-1; 145 Cozart (BR) dec. Dykes (MA) 11-5; 152 Figaro (BR) dec. Riley (MA) 7-1; 160 Figari (BL) dec. Koziel (BR) 4-0; 171 Harmer (GAI) maj. Berridge (BR) 12-1; 189 Ivy (AL) dec. Ettore (BR) 4-1; 215 Daniels (MA) dec. Cox (SP) 3-2; 285 Benitez (RO) dec. Posada (PL) 9-3

PALM HARBOR DUALS

Pool Play: Palm Harbor 43, Mitchell 21; Crawfordville Wakulla 77, Tarpon Springs 6; Countryside 40, River Ridge 39; Dunedin 78, Berkeley Prep 0; Palm Harbor 52, Bradenton Southeast 21; Wakulla 59, Mitchell 16; Dunedin 54, River Ridge 21; Nature Coast 66, Berkeley Prep 12; Palm Harbor 75, Tarpon Springs 0; Bradenton Southeast 43, Mitchell 42; Dunedin 61, Nature Coast 9; Countryside 60, Berkeley Prep 18; Wakulla 67, Bradenton Southeast 7; Mitchell 60, Tarpon Springs 11; River Ridge 59, Berkeley Prep 15; Countryside 43, Nature Coast 30; Wakulla 44, Palm Harbor 24; Bradenton Southeast 60, Tarpon Springs 0; Dunedin 49, Countryside 23; River Ridge 40, Nature Coast 30.

Medal Round: 1. Crawfordville Wakulla 45, 2. Dunedin 29; 3. Countryside 37, 4. Palm Harbor 35; 5. River Ridge 64, 6. Bradenton Southeast 15; 7. Nature Coast 51, 8. Mitchell 25; 9. Tarpon Springs, 9. Berkeley Prep

Wrestling: Springstead captures third in Brandon's Ippolito Invitational 01/24/09 [Last modified: Saturday, January 24, 2009 11:28pm]
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